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Is it a good idea to delay filing for divorce?

Once a Texas spouse has made the decision to file for divorce, the next step lies in determining when to do so. This can be difficult, especially during this time of year when the family's attention is turned toward holiday celebrations. No one wants to ruin the holidays with a stressful and unpredictable discussion about divorce, and there is very little risk of loss in waiting for a few weeks before filing. That said, waiting for too long can have a negative effect and should be avoided.

The spouse who files first has an advantage. For one, he or she has the opportunity to gather financial information and make plans prior to the beginning of the divorce process. In some cases, spouses have a choice of jurisdiction in which the divorce can be filed, and one jurisdiction may be more desirable than another. When an individual waits too long to file, he or she risks the other party finding out about those plans. That can result in a decision to hide assets, make serious changes to the family's financial standing or to simply file first.

Another consideration involves the risk that one's circumstances could change before the divorce is filed. For example, if one spouse falls ill or is seriously injured just before a divorce was initiated, it is likely that the unhappy spouse will feel obligated to stay and provide the necessary care. This could lead to many more years spent in an untenable marriage.

Once divorce is the clear path, Texas spouses must be prepared to move forward in that process. Delaying can have a number of negative consequences and is rarely the right choice. While the next few weeks may not be the ideal time to file, postponing a divorce well into the New Year can be a serious mistake, and can negatively impact the eventual outcome.

Source: 11alive.com, "If marriage is rocky, should you put off divorce?", Jennifer Leslie, Dec. 2, 2015

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